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Full text of "My Country And My People"

SOCIAL   AND    POLITICAL    LIFE           177

could ever shake him out of his dreams. You cannot go into
^nese homes, eat in Chinese restaurants and walk about hi
hinese streets, and believe that a national or world disaster
B coming.   The Chinese always say of themselves that their
iation is like "a tray of loose sands/' each grain being, not an
individual but a family.   On the other hand, the Japanese
ation is (grammatically one says  the  Chinese  nation  are,
ut the Japanese nation is) welded together like a piece of
ranite.   Perhaps this is a good thing.   The next world ex-
_Josion may blow up the granite, but can at best but disperse
sands. The sands will remain sands.

IV. PRIVILEGE AND EQUALITY

The Doctrine of Social Status, or the ideal of "every man in
his place/' cuts through the idea of equality in a curious way,
and it is important to see this point in order to understand the
whole spirit of Chinese social behaviour, both good and bad.
The humanist temper is one emphasizing distinctions of all
kinds, distinctions between men and women (resulting in the
seclusion of women, as we have seen), between ruling authority
and subjects, and between the old and the young. Confucianism
always imagined itself as a civilizing influence going about
preaching these distinctions and establishing social order. It
hoped to bind society together by a moral force, by teaching
benevolence in the rulers and submission hi the ruled, kindliness
in the elders and respect for old age in the young, "friendliness"
hi the elder brother, and humility hi the younger brother,
Instead of social equality, the emphasis is rather on sharply
defined differentiation, or stratified equality. For the Chinese
word for the five cardinal relationships, lun> means equality
within its class.

Such a society is not without its charms and graces. The
respect for old age, for instance, is always something touching,
and Professor A. E. Ross has noted that the old man hi China
is a most imposing figure, more dignified and good to look at
than the old men hi the West, who are made to feel in every
way that they have passed the period of their usefulness and